30 million men suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED) today and 18 million of these men are in the U.S.

Erectile dysfunction includes not achieving an erection or only achieving a partial erection, making a man unable to have sexual intercourse.

Achieving an erection requires stimulation of the nerve ending in the penis and mental stimulation, causing blood flow to increase to the penis.

ED commonly occurs in men who age and may not always come with underlying problems. But there’s no denying it’s inconvenient and can kill an intimate moment.

However, age isn’t always an issue. In order to prevent ED, it’s helpful to know the potential causes. Here are the 9 most common causes of ED.

1. Medication

Even though medicine is designed to help with various mental and physical ailments, medications come with a slew of side effects. Erectile dysfunction is one of these side effects, regardless of your age.

This is common in antidepressants, antipsychotics, and blood pressure medication.

If you believe your medication is causing ED, discuss additional treatment options with your doctor. Your doctor may even prescribe additional medicine to achieve an erection, such as Serrapeptase for erectile dysfunction.

2. High Blood Pressure

Even though high blood pressure medication can cause ED, so can having high blood pressure. This is why as many as two-thirds of men with high blood pressure experience erectile dysfunction.

It’s believed high blood pressure, also called hypertension, damages the blood vessels that deliver blood to the penis.

This not only prevents a man from achieving an erection but it also prevents ejaculation and decreases sexual appetite as a whole.

3. Insecurity

When you’re in bed with a woman (or man), do you feel insecure? Are you concerned with your body or are you wondering if you’re well-endowed enough for your partner?

This insecurity can decrease your chances of getting an erection.

As mentioned previously, your brain requires mental stimulation in order to send signals to increase the amount of blood to your penis.

But this requires specific mental stimulation, such as looking at your partner, touching your partner, and feeling your partner’s touch.

If this sensation is clouded by second questioning, your brain won’t send off the same signals.

The best thing to do is to talk to your partner. Mention you’re feeling a little off. Your partner may be supportive, encouraging you and helping increase your confidence.

4. Snoring

Does your partner constantly complain about your snoring? If they also complain about your incontinence, you can easily link the two problems.

This study found similarities between snoring and incontinence. Snoring is caused by closed airways while you’re sleeping. These same airways require sufficient blood flow, the same blood flow that requires an erection.

But do all snorers signal erectile dysfunction? Before men start getting insecure about their sleep and erectile habits, understand the study only found this applies to extremely loud and persistent snoring.

5. Anti-Baldness Drugs

Men, what would you prefer — baldness but a firm erection, or a head full of hair but a limp penis? Most men would likely prefer a bald head but the erection.

Unfortunately, many men don’t realize their anti-baldness treatments can contribute to erectile problems.

Okay, maybe not all balding treatments. But erectile dysfunction was linked to some hair loss drugs. That’s because many of these drugs contain finasteride, which interferes with testosterone production.

6. Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s Disease is a very rare disease, only affecting a small percentage of men. It’s hypothesized this disease is genetic, but damage to the penis can also cause Peyronie’s Disease.

Peyronie’s Disease causes overproduction of scar tissue, producing a bending sensation during erection. This is extremely painful, so it’s no surprise that this sensation causes a man to be turned off by sex.

Some men recover from Peyronie’s Disease naturally. Others may require medication or even surgery.

7. Steroids

While steroids may give you that muscular physique you always craved, it won’t do anything for that muscle “down there.”

Steroids help your body recover faster from intense bodybuilding workouts, building muscle faster and increase your endurance and strength. The main reason behind this is the artificial testosterone contained in the steroids.

However, this causes your natural testosterone levels to fluctuate, spiking your testosterone levels from a high to a low.

This may even cause your body to stop producing natural testosterone. A healthy testosterone balance is needed to achieve an erection.

In addition, steroids also cause low sperm count, decreasing infertility. This is why men who take steroids claim their “testicles shrink.”

8. Cycling

Traditionally, exercise is actually an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. If you’re exercising to prevent ED, just don’t hop on a bike. While cycling offers many health benefits, it doesn’t do much to benefit the penis.

Cycling puts a man’s weight on the perineum, which is the skin between his anus and testicles. The perineum has a huge job that not many men know about — the perineum is the channel supplying blood to the penis.

Constant perineum compression can hinder the penis receiving blood, causing erectile dysfunction.

9. Bowel Surgery

Three-quarters of men who underwent bowel surgery ended up suffering from erectile dysfunction afterwards. A side effect of the operation is nerve damage.

These nerves send messages to the penis, causing an erection.

For most, the damage is mild which only weakens an erection.

This is inconvenient but you have a chance of regaining your erectile health. For most men, erectile dysfunction is only temporary and erectile health improves on its own.

However, there’s a chance of long-term or severe damage. This can even cause nerve destruction, causing permanent erectile dysfunction.

Erectile Dysfunction: Combatting It Isn’t Hard

No man wants to suffer from erectile dysfunction. Knowing the key causes can help you prevent it.

Erectile incontinence isn’t the only form of incontinence you have to worry about. Urinary incontinence is also a common problem. Here’s how to deal with it.

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